Side Hustling in HR – Without Cheating On Your Day Job! 

by Alan Collins

If you ever decide to have an extramarital affair, there are some unspoken rules to abide by.

One, you sure as hell don’t want your partner to find out…unless you have a death wish.

Two, you’re probably going to have to fabricate stories about your whereabouts from time to time to cover up your liaisons.

And three, unless you’re a total scumbag, you’ll probably need to figure out how to cope with the emotional guilt of lying, being unfaithful and leading a double life.

Clearly, the decision to do this is going to complicate things for you at home.

And while I’ve never cheated myself, I’m guessing that making these kinds of personal changes just scare most people to death.

Interestingly, many HR people seem to feel
the same way about doing side hustling
in HR, while holding down
their full time day job.

To them, it’s like cheating
on their spouse!

They believe it requires them to lie, be disloyal to their organization and compromise their morals and ethics.

I don’t agree.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

  *   *   *

Here’s why?

A part-time side hustle or monetizing your HR skills on the side — like doing a few consulting projects, coaching clients or running a networking or job search group — can be a terrific step in your career.

It can:

So there are tons of benefits.

Just so you know, this is my philosophy…

I’m a strong proponent of NOT doing anything
at all to jeopardize your HR day job if it’s currently
your main source of income.

And until the day arrives that you are ready to replace it,
it pays your bills and is your security net right now,
so you should never risk screwing it up.

Hopefully, that makes sense.

But make no mistake about it, if you want to side hustle, without putting your main hustle at risk — you can.

However, only if you follow four simple, common sense unwritten rules — and they are:

  1. Don’t make assumptions.
  2. Don’t compromise and disparage.
  3. Avoid “borrowing.”
  4. Answer the question: “Should I hide what I’m doing?”

Let’s break down each one of these in detail.

*   *   *

Don’t Make Assumptions.

What this means is that you should know what kind of organization you’re working for – don’t assume you know.

Let’s face facts.  Many big, traditional “old school” organizations probably don’t share your enthusiasm for doing any kind of part-time side gig. In fact, most believe they own you and your HR expertise, as long as you work there.

They demand your 100% loyalty…on and off the job, 168 hours per week…even though they’re not going to provide you that kind of loyalty in return.

By paying you an annual salary and other benefits, they feel are entitled to “first dibs” on your time and your ideas.

But that’s just one type of organization.

There are other more enlightened, “new school” firms. Lots of them, growing by the day. In these types of companies, performance rules.

In their view, they don’t care what you do, as long as you kick butt on your job…and as long as you don’t violate the company’s code of conduct.

In these companies, employees are highly engaged away from work.

Some teach in the evenings.
Some run small unrelated businesses on the side.
Some actively participate on Boards and in non-profit organizations.
Some coach and do non-competitive consulting.

Here’s the point: You must know what kind of company you’re working for!  Is it the old school or the new school type?

If you’re not sure, check your employee handbook, your legal department or the corporate policy on moonlighting and running side businesses.

Also, examine any employment documents you may signed when you began working in case you have agreed not to work with anything that conflicts or competes with your employer.

If you’re NOT certain, then ASK!  And here’s what you want to know:

You want to go into your side hustle with your eyes completely wide open and armed with all the facts.

But that’s not all, you’ll also want to embrace the next rule.

*   *   *

Don’t Compromise or Disparage Your
Current Organization.

A better way of stating this rule is…

Don’t write, speak, coach or consult about anything you would
not want plastered on the “Worst Practices” pages
of HR Magazine, next to your name.

This includes:

This also applies to HR-related information too.

Your company has valuable confidential information that it wants to keep under wraps. For example, it could be:

As an HR professional, these types of violations are morally and legally wrong.

You have an obligation to preserve these secrets whether or not you signed a non-disclosure agreement. And, if you have signed such an agreement and violate it, you could be liable for damages – and face a possible court order to cease and desist.

And then there’s the next rule on this list.

*   *   *

Avoid Borrowing (or Stealing) Anything
That Belongs To Your Employer.

Yes, I know this is obvious.

But in this case stealing goes well beyond just swiping office supplies from your day job to stock your home office. It also means that you:

All of these are big no-no’s.

In most companies, this kind of misuse of company property is considered theft and you can expect to be reprimanded or let go.

Sure, you can rationalize this theft by thinking “hey, the company can afford it.”

But since misappropriation of company property and office supply theft accounts for a fairly large chunk of the $67 billion lost to employee theft every year, many employers clearly don’t agree with you.

All this said, I’m sure there’s at least one final concern you should still have.

And it’s a big one.

*   *   *

Should You Hide What You’re Doing
From Your Organization?

This is crucial. You deal with your organization through your boss. And there are only two ways to handle your boss…

You either tell them or you don’t!

Only you can assess your situation, but in most cases I recommend that you be totally upfront with both your boss and your organization.

Here’s why? Sure, you could conceal what you’re doing. That is, operate like Clark Kent during the day but then turn into Superman during the evening .

But the big problem hiding what you’re doing is that if you get found out, it gives the impression that you’re trying to hide something.

Or that you’re subtly looking for work elsewhere.

That’s not exactly the kind of move that will enhance your HR career advancement prospects or your job security at your day job.

So, because of these reasons, I believe it’s best to be completely upfront and tell your boss what you’re doing. It’s then up to your boss to make the next move.

They may not care.
Or they may want to know more.
Or they may want to see examples of what you’re doing.
Or to cover their own butt, they may need to check in with Legal or the higher ups.

Resist the urge to say “it’s none of your business.”  Instead, be upfront and provide any information required.

The worst case is that she or the company balks or objects.  Then you have a decision to make.

You can:

Even though these choices may be difficult or not ideal, I favor being open.

Honesty is the best policy.

*   *   *

Let’s recap. 

Side hustling in HR clearly has great benefits.

But it’s not for everyone. Most HR folks do quite well in their careers without ever doing it.

However, if this is a career option you want to try and keep your day job too you’ll need to follow these unwritten rules:

By following these steps you’ve put yourself in the best position to keep your day job while pursing your consulting endeavors on the side.

And you won’t feel like you’re cheating on your spouse.


Got insights, questions or comments about this article, add them below by clicking HERE


Want to know ONE way to diversify your income on the side as an HR pro — while compromising your day job?   Then check out, WRITE YOUR OWN HR BOOK FAST!  Take Your Career in Human Resources To The Next Level By Authoring Your Own Book — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible & On The Side! 

Clearly, writing a book isn’t for everyone. But it’s easier than you think and yours will clearly separate you from the rest of the HR pack, while allowing you to capitalize on your HR skills and experience. If your own book is a goal for you either now or in the future, then you should check definitely this out.


A SECOND alternative is creating small reports, white papers and short ebooks that address pressing issues or solve vexing problems.  This is an even faster way of capitalizing on your HR skills, expertise and experience.


Then check out: YOUR HR GOLDMINE:  How To Turn Your Human Resources Know-How Into A Lucrative Second Income…Without Leaving Your HR Job!  This book will provide you with tons of ideas and a step-by-step plan for putting them into action.


A THIRD way of capitalizing on your experience is to start with your own HR blog. If you can write e-mail length messages and like sharing your ideas and experiences with others…then you’re in a great position to leverage the power of your very own HR blog.

For more details, check out. START YOUR OWN AWESOME HR BLOG: “The Absolute Beginner’s Guide To Launching Your Own Outrageously Successful Human Resources Blog …Easily, Quickly and Simply!”  You can get all the specifics by clicking HERE.

About the author: 
Alan Collins
is Founder of Success in HR, Inc. and the author of a variety of best selling books for HR professionals. He was formerly Vice President – Human Resources at PepsiCo where he led HR initiatives for their Quaker Oats, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses.

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HR Side Hustle #11: Launch your own HR blog.

by Alan Collins

First of all, take 90 seconds and check out this video…

In the above clip, two of the most brilliant minds on the planet, Seth Godin and Tom Peters, give you their perspectives on the value and importance of blogging

So why must YOU blog? 

For me, Seth’s makes the most compelling statement of all when he says that you should be blogging EVEN IF…no one reads your blog!

Why? Because it’s a terrific tool for showcasing and promoting your HR expertise.  

But if you do it right, people WILL read it.

Lots of people — and that makes it an excellent side hustle.

Let me explain further.

 *   *   *

My personal experience with HR blogging. 

15 years ago, I started writing my blog Success in HR on the side while working full-time as an HR leader at PepsiCo.

At the time, I didn’t realize that it would become THE single biggest asset and catalyst for my career in HR. 

Almost everything I do now begins as an idea on this blog. 

Who knew that all these years later, I’d be still at it.

And having a blast!

 *   *   *

Here’s what you can learn from my experience.

#1 — Blogging has given me a deeper meaning and purpose as an HR professional.

…Your own blog can do the same for you.

#2 — My blog is my primary coaching tool for inspiring HR pros to reach for greatness in their HR careers.  It allows me to help people I’ll never meet take their careers to the next level.  And, to encourage them to challenge the status quo in their own personal lives.

…Your own blog can do the same for you.

#3 — I feel like I can change the world of HR from my laptop. Whenever I sit down to post something on my blog, this is exactly what I say to myself.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.  I believe I can.  And I have. That’s what counts.

…Your own blog can do the same for you.

#4 — And as a side hustle, it’s generated an excellent side income by opening the door to lucrative speaking, consulting, coaching opportunities I never would have received otherwise. It’s also helped me sell books, HR-related products, establish profitable affiliate relationships and much, much more.

…Yes, it’s true, your own blog can do the same for you.

*   *   *

Sound too good to be true.
What’s the real deal about blogging?   

Starting a blog is NOT super easy.

It takes an investment of time and is lot of work.

And like anything else, success isn’t guaranteed. 

It can take weeks, months (and maybe even years) before it pays off to your satisfaction. 

So it’s not a get rich quick strategy (and neither is any of the HR side hustles on this site).

However, once you get your blog up and running you can be successful. 

Sure, the most successful bloggers and the top blogs make over $1M per year.

And this is certainly something you can strive for. 

But it’s not necessary.   

You can use your blog as your vehicle for standing out from the HR crowd, become known as a thought leader in your own HR specialty and will positive impact others enabling you to make a bigger difference in our profession.

Need further inspiration and see examples of others who are doing this? 

Check out the HR blogs of:

Again, with your own HR blog, you can showcase your unique HR insights and experiences in an in-depth way – just like these three HR pros have. 

*   *   *

Here’s how YOU can get started

Step 1:  Choose a niche that you’d like to write about and get started.

The great thing about starting a blog is that you can write about literally anything that interests you in HR, so it can be a really fun hobby as well as a side hustle.

Step 2:  Choose a domain name and a hosting plan.

You can do this through sites like GoDaddy.

Step 3:  Use a platform like WordPress to build your site.

Step 4:  Once your website is up and running, you can start posting articles to drive traffic to your blog.

If you can spare a few hours a week, can write e-mail length messages and enjoy sharing your ideas with others…then you’re in a great position to capitalize on your very own blog. 

Once you have enough traffic, you can monetize it. 

Here are just a few of many ways to cash in your blog:  

This is a very brief overview, but there’s a lot more to know about successfully launching your blog.

*   *   *

Want further in-depth guidance
and step-by-step help?

Check out our start-up package and system.

It will take your by the hand and walk you through every single step needed to start up and profit from your own HR blog.

It’s called…START YOUR OWN AWESOME HR BLOG: “The Absolute Beginner’s Guide To Launching Your Own Outrageously Successful Human Resources Blog …Easily, Quickly and Simply!”  

You can get all the details HERE.


*   *   *

HR Side Hustle #8: Write your own HR book.

by Alan Collins

It’s never been easier to create a book of your own and put it put it up for sale on Amazon.

Two of the best HR books I’ve ever read were written by full-time HR leaders who published on the side. 

They are HR on Purpose by Steve Browne and The 9 Faces of HR by Kris Dunn. 

What makes their books fantastic is that they dig deep and share their personal authentic stories and experiences in HR.

Folks in HR are hungry to learn what you know and benefit from your lessons in the HR trenches — both the good, the bad and ugly. So share them.

An impossible idea, you say?

I say, not really.

  *   *   *

Alisa Charles (pictured right) is another example of someone who’s done it well.

She’s a full-time HR director with a team of direct reports and has published two books on Amazon — Successful Mentoring in HR  and The New Employee Orientation Guide — all while raising a husband and three kids. 

Check out her full story here.

Nothing keeps you from doing the same thing and writing a short book on a project you’ve completed successfully or a vexing problem you’ve solved that plagues other HR or talent management folks.

Just do as Alisa did.

Lay out your book revealing the steps you followed to address that HR problem and how you overcame the big obstacles that stood in your way…and you can become a rock star!

But wait, I know what you’re thinking. Shouldn’t you be concerned about revealing confidential information or creating a potential conflict of interest situation with your employer?

Yes, you absolutely should! 

So don’t reveal anything at all that would violate your company policies or put your own day job at risk. 

If in doubt, check with your boss and the lawyers in your organization before you launch.

*   *   *

However, there’s another option…

And that’s to avoid HR topics entirely. 

That’s what Savannah Horlich has done.

Savannah is an HR manager at MedCo Services and she capitalizes on her imagination by writing young adult fantasy novels under the pen name Savannah J. Foley.

This has been a passion of hers since she was 15 years old.  

She’s written 10 novels so far.

That’s right, ten! 

Oh yes, she came to my attention because she was featured a few years ago in HR Magazine as one of their “Top 30 Under 30 Rising Stars in HR!” So she’s obviously making her mark in HR, while side hustling too. Wow!

As you can see, there are lots of possibilities for you here.

*   *   *

Here’s What Else You Should Know:

When writing HR books, there are two “must have’s” for success:

Now let’s wrap this all this up by talking dollars. 

The average price you should charge for your paperback book should range anywhere between $9 to $29. That’s the sweet spot. On Amazon, you’ll typically earn around $40% for every paperback copy sold. 

You can also create a kindle version of that same book, where you can earn 70% royalty if you price your book between $2.99 and $9.99. Outside of that range, it’s 35%. 

And yes, you can also create a Audiobook from your paperback as well. 

That gives you three products you can create from one book.

Not too shabby.

  *   *   *

How You Can Get Started Successfully

Ready to get started with your own HR book?  Well, if you want to get one done faster than you imagined and get a step-by-step plan on how to get it done, then check out my book…

WRITE YOUR OWN HR BOOK FAST!  Take Your Career in Human Resources To The Next Level By Authoring Your Own Book — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible & On The Side! 

HR Side Hustle #1 — Teach classes at a local university or college.

by Alan Collins 

For years, my buddies Larry Pearlman and  Steve Merkin taught a Change Management class to graduate students in Human Resouces. 

They did this at the University of Illinois in their School of Labor & Employment Relations.

The class was one day a week, for three hours, and they taught it as partners.

Both did this while holding down
their full-time HR day jobs in Chicago.

Every Wednesday morning, they drove from Chicago to the University of Illinois campus in Champaign, Illinois, two hours away. 

After class, they drove back home that same Wednesday evening, just in time to get a good night’s sleep and arrive at work on Thursday.

They were so great as adjunct instructors that they were voted in the top 10% of the professors and instructors at this Big Ten university for four straight years!

Later, when the pandemic hit, they continued
doing the course remotely via Zoom.

And here is what’s so terrific about all this…

There’s nothing stopping YOU from
following in their footsteps. 

  *   *   *

What you should know: 

There are thousands of opportunities nationally.

It doesn’t have to be a major university in the Big Ten like University of Illinois, either.

Local universities, junior colleges or their extension campuses are always looking for part time adjunct instructors to teach courses who have real-life, in the trenches work experience like Larry and Steve.

However, in most cases, this requires a master’s degree and relevant work experience.

Some schools are even open to you proposing a brand new course.

And, if it fits their needs, it can be added to their curriculum with you as the instructor!

Also, with the growth of online learning and remote work, many institutions are moving many classes online allowing you to teach from home.

On average, adjunct instructors earn $2,000 to $5000+ per course. 

Yes, I know you won’t get wealthy teaching.

However, besides the cash, there are other benefits you’ll gain: 

#1:  Landing a side teaching gig can help you polish up your presentation skills and your confidence — while you’re molding young minds and future leaders.

#2:  What should intrigue you also is that a lot of colleges allow you to record your lectures and use the content for whatever purposes as you see fit. 

This can become content that you can further monetize using some of the additional ideas on this website. Hint, Hint.

Too many people put their hands on their hips and say “Ok, smart guy, what do I teach?”

It’s simple.

Teach your 9-5 skills in HR.

For example:

If you work in Talent Acquisition, Compmpensation,
Organization Development, Labor Relations,
all of these are potential opportunities
for you to share your expertise
with students.

If your 9–5 skills currently earn you a salary, they can earn you a side hustle income too.

You just have to be willing to sell those skills twice.

To capitalize on your HR experience, reach out to the business school or psychology department for all the universities and colleges in your area.

Every year, each school determines how many adjuncts it needs and for what courses. Ask about their current openings or propose a new course.

The pool of available talent changes from semester to semester.

So, if you strike out the first time, don’t give up. 

Be persistent. 

  *   *   *

Resources to get started successfully:

Adjunct Teaching Online & On-Campus: How to Make Up To 6-Figures and More as an Adjunct Professor.
The system outlined in this book reveals the exact system used by all the top-earning adjunct professors in the field. This book will take you from your first teaching assignment all the way up through making 6-figures a year or more as an adjunct! In this book Dr. Rubin will also outline the new developments in the adjunct field that YOU can exploit for your benefit. Check it out here.


The Adjunct Professor’s Complete Guide to Teaching College.
There are more than 700,000 adjunct professors in over 4,200 institutions of higher education. In this book, you’ll be provided with an illuminating look into collegiate instruction, how to actively engage students and the proven techniques that enhance learning. This book is for everyone who has ever wanted to teach a college course, but were unsure of where and how to start. Check it out here.